Lubrication analysis of interacting rigid cylindrical particles in confined shear flow

R. Cardinaels, Howard A. Stone

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7 Scopus citations


Lubrication analysis is used to determine analytical expressions for the elements of the resistance matrix describing the interaction of two rigid cylindrical particles in two-dimensional shear flow in a symmetrically confined channel geometry. The developed model is valid for non-Brownian particles in a low-Reynolds-number flow between two sliding plates with thin gaps between the two particles and also between the particles and the walls. Using this analytical model, a comprehensive overview of the dynamics of interacting cylindrical particles in shear flow is presented. With only hydrodynamic interactions, rigid particles undergo a reversible interaction with no cross-streamline migration, irrespective of the confinement value. However, the interaction time of the particle pair substantially increases with confinement, and at the same time, the minimum distance between the particle surfaces during the interaction substantially decreases with confinement. By combining our purely hydrodynamic model with a simple on/offnon-hydrodynamic attractive particle interaction force, the effects of confinement on particle aggregation are qualitatively mapped out in an aggregation diagram. The latter shows that the range of initial relative particle positions for which aggregation occurs is increased substantially due to geometrical confinement. The interacting particle pair exhibits tangential and normal lubrication forces on the sliding plates, which will contribute to the rheology of confined suspensions in shear flow. Due to the combined effects of the confining walls and the particle interaction, the particle velocities and resulting forces both tangential and perpendicular to the walls exhibit a non-monotonic evolution as a function of the orientation angle of the particle pair. However, by incorporating appropriate scalings of the forces, velocities, and doublet orientation angle with the minimum free fraction of the gap height and the plate speed, master curves for the forces versus orientation angle can be constructed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number072001
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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